Code Week takes place across Europe between 11th and 17th October 2014. This is part of a wider European initiative that encourages people to learn how to code. In preparation for Code Week, there are various activities that are taking place across the country to help you to learn how to code.
Having the correct and applicable digital skills are becoming increasingly important in every line of work. By learning how to code and understanding how code operates and affects our daily lives, we have a far better chance of realising it’s potential to our benefit.
Neelie Kroes is the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. Recently, Neelie was saying to us that “coding is a tool that entertains, educates, empowers. It encourages new ways of thinking and solving problems: challenging, creative, fun.”
As well as coding being a fun thing to do, it is a skill that is increasingly creeping into our everyday lives, both in work and outside of the work environment. While it is clear that the number of computer graduates is not keeping abreast with the demand for coding skills, over 90% of professionals now require some level of ict skills to perform their everyday job. In fact, it is estimated that nearly one million ICT jobs will need to be filled over the coming years across Europe. Furthermore, politicians at European level are predicting that we may face a shortage of up to 900,000 ICT professionals by 2020.
So, how can you learn how to code. Actually, the good news is that there is wealth of resources available. Many of these are online and freely available and range from beginners through to full “degree-level” courses.
- Scratch is a free programming language, developed by MIT and is aimed at young children. It is easy to create your own interactive games and animations, providing learners with a solid grounding of the basics ideas behind the structure of coding.
- Code School teaches web technologies in the comfort of your browser with video lessons, coding challenges, and screencasts. Tools and languages include HTML, Ruby and iOS which involve GIT, Sass and Backbone.js.
- Codecademy is an interactive learning site where you can learn to code interactively, for free. Languages include HTML, Python, CSS, Ruby on Rails, etc
- Of course, you can also learn to code via any number of courses available, usually for free or certainly relatively inexpensively, on the likes of MOOC’s such as Coursera,MIT OpenCourseWare, Udacity and Coursera